Carolina Advances 1-0 Over USF In NCAA FIrst Round
Carolina (9-5-5) will play at No. 12 seed UC Irvine on Sunday at 5 p.m. ET in Irvine, Calif.
For the second-straight match, Carolina got another quick goal to take a 1-0 lead. This time the early goal came from Omar Holness at the 3:27 mark. Cooper Vandermaas-Peeler started the play with a corner kick, sending a perfect deep cross that Holness one-touched into the back of the net for his second goal of the season.
Vandermaas-Peeler earned his team-leading fourth assist on the play.
All-ACC keeper Brendan Moore made two saves to notch his ACC-leading 10th clean sheet of the season for the Tar Heels.
North Carolina put together two solid opportunities in the later stages of the first half. First came off the foot of Vernari Valimaa in the 35th minute. The midfielder made a move to the left and cracked a shot with his left foot from 20 yards that forced USF keeper Brentton Muhammad to push his save over the crossbar.
The ensuing corner kick led to a fine cross by Alex Olofson that just missed the head of Nick Williams as he was running towards the far-left post.
USF (8-4-9) put its first shot on net in the 44th minute when Stiven Salinas sent a free kick from 25 yards directly into the hands of Moore.
In the second half, USF had a free kick from 23 yards by Edwin Moalosi in the 56th minute. His shot bent just over the traffic in front of the goal area, but Moore was in the right place to make the save.
In the 58th minute, Tyler Engel's long cross to Nick Williams got Muhammed to race out of his goal mouth and was caught out of position when Holness flicked a shot towards net, but the USF defense picked up its goalie by clearing the ball away.
Jordan McCrary took a pass from Holness in the 68th minute and tried to turn the corner towards goal, however, Muhammed raced off his line to cut down the angle and made a solid save to keep the match a one-goal margin.
In the 83rd minute, Josh Rice and Valimaa worked a 2-on-1 advantage that led to a shot by Rice that was stopped by Muhammed. The senior goalie from England was busy tonight making six saves for the Bulls.
Carolina enjoyed a 10-5 shot advantage and had seven corner kicks to the Bulls' four.
UNC improves to 30-17-6 in the NCAA Tournament and 11-1-4 record at Fetzer Field dating back to 2008.